Composer, ex-minister Mikroutsikos dies


Composer and former Culture Minister Thanos Mikroutsikos has died at the age of 72 after a long bout with cancer.

Mikroutsikos died at Athens' Metropolitan Hospital of cardiac arrest, the hospital announced.

Mikroutsikos studied both music and mathematics and came of age as a composer in the mid-70s, when explicitly political songs were the flavor of the day, following the collapse of the 1967-74 military dictatorship. Mikroutsikos did not confine himself to this genre, however, and even in his popular song albums one could find experiments in electronic and atonal music. He also composed many pieces for theater and chamber music.

A lifetime militant of the left, Mikroutsikos nonetheless was respected and popular across the political spectrum, helped by his success as a composer.

He was Alternate Culture Minister in 1993-94 and Culture Minister in 1994-96, succeeding Melina Merkouri, who herself died of cancer.

Mikroutsikos’ funeral will take place at 2.30 p.m. Monday at Athens’ First Cemetery, in a civilian ceremony, per his wishes.